Buju Banton and Friends Concert – One of the best produced and most well attended shows in Miami history!
Buju Banton Before the Dawn Concert: Soaring to Spiritual Heights!
By M. Peggy Quattro and Halcyone Hoagland
Photos M. Peggy Quattro, David Muir, Roy Sweetland
With more than 20 years as a Reggae music icon, Rasta Dancehall performer and five-time Grammy nominee Buju Banton has no shortage of true friends, as in those who are there for you in your greatest time of need. The all-star line-up of artists, media professionals from around the world, and all-around top-shottas of Jamaican entertainment gathered together inside Miami’s Bayfront Amphitheater were just that Buju’s nearest and dearest. Surrounded by those who have mentored and been mentored by him, Buju gave thanks for fans and friends who have clearly given him tremendous strength and support during the challenges of the past year. As Buju awaits retrial in February 2011, Reggae Report caught up with Buju’s attorney, David Oscar Markus, at a quick briefing inside the press tent. Markus has successfully defended several cases in the state of Florida and remains optimistic about the outcome of the case. Buju is positive most people would have crumbled by now he remarked. Its very hard to fight the government, very difficult. He added that they are trying to say Buju Banton is a drug dealer, and Buju is no drug dealer.
Ras Michael and the Nyabinghi Drummers set the evenings tone with Rasta chants invoking the spirit and blessings of the Most High. With a certain reverence in the air, guest artists took the stage one by one: Richie Loop, Everton Blender, Nadine Sutherland, Freddie McGregor, Wayne Wonder, Mykal (Michael) Rose, Gyptian, Sean Paul and Spragga Benz, Tarrus Riley (who did some hilarious impersonations of Buju and had Dean Fraser mocking Buju’s voice with the his sax), Shaggy with Rayvon and Serani, Gramps Morgan, and Miami’s own DJ Khaled, who brought Ace Hood, Rich Kid, and surprise guest Busta Rhymes. Each one echoed their sole purpose for being there, to provide support, strength, and to build solidarity as a community. Hit after hit, the program grew in steady anticipation of Buju’s arrival. Continue reading